Campus Reform | Stanford to rely on fire dept, not police, to respond to some calls

Stanford to rely on fire dept, not police, to respond to some calls

Stanford University announced it will now rely on the Palo Alto Fire Department to transport students experiencing a mental health crisis from campus to a hospital.

The university previously utilized campus police but will now only do so in certain instances.

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Stanford University announced it will now rely on the Palo Alto, California Fire Department, not police, to transport students experiencing a mental health crisis from campus to a hospital. 

In a message from the executive leadership of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), the university explained that though it previously utilized campus police in such instances, it will now only do so in limited circumstances.

Previously, students undergoing psychiatric adversity would be evaluated by a police officer or mental health professional before being transported to an emergency room by campus police, which falls under the university’s Department of Public Safety (DPS)

However, moving forward, most transports to the hospital will be provided by an ambulance from the city’s fire department, separate from DPS, which will include a fee. 

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Though the transport by ambulance will require a fee, the school said it believes that in “most cases” student health insurance will cover it. Stanford said it would work with students experiencing financial concerns. 

“We see this as a great deal of progress in a short period of time,” the letter from Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole and Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Bina Pulkit Patel said.

The university stated that it is evaluating additional options to handle students with mental health concerns. One potential alternative is a “multi-disciplinary mobile crisis team” that will “take more time to develop and will require the identification of additional resources.”

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“We look forward to continuing discussions with you on how we can best respond to students and their wide range of mental health needs,” Brubaker-Cole and Patel concluded in their letter.

Campus Reform reached out to Stanford University for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JezzamineWolk.